What Are Heat Pumps
Heat pumps are integrated heating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that provide both heating and air conditioning at different times of the year. Because heat pumps move warm and cool air instead of simply generating it through combustion, they are highly efficient and attractive to homeowners who need both heating and air conditioning.
If you are considering installing a heat pump in your home, it’s important to understand that there are different types and that some are more suited for certain homes and conditions. The two main types of heat pump systems are split systems and ductless heat pumps, which are also called mini-splits. Knowing the pros and cons of each will help you choose which type is the most cost-effective system for your home.
Split System Heat Pumps
Split system heat pumps deliver warm air throughout to the home through a network of ducts and vents. They are an excellent choice if your home has existing ductwork, namely because the newer models are highly efficient and cheaper to buy than ductless heat pumps. For homes in colder climates, heat pumps in general are not as effective because they use the outside air to help heat the home. The main disadvantage is the cost of duct installation for homes without ductwork. Even if you are installing ducts for part of the house, you’ll have to weigh the replacement costs with the energy savings and cheaper price of a traditional heat pump system.
Ductless Heat Pumps
If your home does not already have duct work, a more cost-effective option for you might be a ductless heat pump system. Ductless systems work as individual units all connected to the main compressor through a conduit. Because the units can be placed wherever you need heat, they provide more flexibility in home design, and they’re a great option for additions. Heating and cooling ducts also create more potential air leaks than the conduits used for mini-splits, which could affect energy costs. The major downside is that ductless heat pumps are a lot more expensive than split systems, so you will need to look at all of your options.
When you are in the market for any new heating system, it is best to speak with your HVAC contractor for professional advice. A heating and cooling expert can help you make an informed decision about the most cost-effective heat pump for your home.
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